With the Bowman programme spending huge sums (Â£300 million) extra on software plus an extra (Â£96 million) on upgrades and software, I am sure there are good reasons for this, particularly from the contractors point of view. As the main bearer of the tactical communications system on the HF side can only work 8 miles in dry desert conditions due to the fact that the wrong antennas were delivered for the Bowman HF radio this seems like a very extravagant waste of public funds. I am sure our communications officers understand the basics of communications first you have to have the bearer system in place to carry the data, no use spending Â£300 million on additional software if you do not have the means to pass the info. Currently this is not possible if the vehicle is in the skip zone. The vehicle also looses the ability to use the vehicle protection system IFF to protect against friendly fire once in the skip zone as this information is passed over the HF radio. The antennas specified in the Bowman specification would have allowed comms into and through the skipzone, the contractor did not deliver. So Bowman has the same HF antenna technology as it's predecessor, Clansman, with the same shortfalls. It is not a radio problem and it never was a radio problem, it was always an antenna problem and it always will be until the senior comms decision makers get off the fence and look to the solution which was pointed out to them 3 years ago. Bowman HF as I have been pointing out to the MOD, the Signals Corps and the Bowman team has the wrong antennas. I do believe that they are finally waking up to this fact and starting to ask the right questions, Three years late and Â£3 billion pounds spent and they appear to be having a re-think. Rumours coming out of the battle zone are that the Bowman HF radio is not even as good as Clansman this may or may not be true, put the right antennas on the HF Bowman vehicular radio and it will, trust me, be a world beater. I have done it, proved it, and tried to educate the Signal Corps, the MOD and it's Bowman team. I am now long retired, but still hate to see what could be a first class Radio system being spoilt for the sake of the correct HF antenna system, which by my calculations would cost a very small fraction of all this high cost software. Get the basics right gentlemen and the rest will fall into line. Waterlooville.